Top Tasks for Joe Judge

by Adam Nardelli @adamnardelli

Former Patriots special teams coordinator and wide receivers coach Joe Judge will become the 21st coach in Giants history.  Whether you hate it or actually like the “outside-the-box” hire, it’s time to look at what Judge can do to turn things around for big blue.  

Initially, the most important task Judge has on his plate is to develop his coaching staff.  For Judge specifically, hiring experienced coaches who have past head coaching experience or success as coordinator experience needs to be at the top of his to-do list.  As Bill Parcells has said, a head coach has to be prepared for five things to go wrong every day, something Judge probably didn’t have to deal with as the Patriots special teams coordinator.  

Let’s look at some coaches Judge potentially can bring in that may be able to make his transition to head coach a little bit easier and would provide valuable experience on a staff led by a first-time head coach. 

Bill Callahan

Callahan has extensive head coaching experience and most recently served as the Redskins interim head coach.  Callahan served as the head coach at the University of Nebraska and with the Oakland Raiders in the early-mid 2000s.  What may be more intriguing about Callahan, however, is his background as an offensive line coach. 

Callahan was the Cowboys offensive line coach in 2014 when their line was widely considered the best in the business.  Three of Dallas’ offensive lineman were part of the All-Pro team that year.  Callahan would do wonders for a guy like Will Hernandez who regressed in his second-year, but still has plenty of potentials and would be a great source of support for Judge in his first year as a head coach.  Assistant head coach/offensive line coach seems like a great title for Callahan on the Giants coaching staff.    

Jay Gruden

Yes, Gruden was fired as the Redskins head coach, but he is still a respected offensive mind throughout the league.  Gruden helped develop Andy Dalton early in his career and was the Bengals offensive coordinator for three straight playoff appearances, which seems like galaxies ago at this point. 

Kirk Cousins also had success under Gruden in his early years as the Redskins starting QB, as well as Alex Smith.  The Giants top priority still needs to be the development of Daniel Jones, and Gruden’s combination of working with young quarterbacks and having head coaching experience would make him an intriguing addition to the coaching staff.  

Kris Richard

While head coaching experience is important, Judge can’t limit his top assistants to just guys who have been head coaches.  Richard was the Cowboys passing game coordinator and secondary coach in 2019.  More impressively, he was the architect behind the legion of boom, the Seahawks secondary that helped power them to two Super Bowl appearances, one win, and other deep playoff runs.  Don’t take my word for it; Richard Sherman said it himself

Richard was not technically the Cowboys defensive coordinator, but called the defensive plays.  He’s  tough on his players and can galvanize a defense (especially a secondary) that often looked confused in 2019.  Guys like Deandre Baker, Julian Love, and Sam Beal, who the Giants are relying on to take major leaps forward in 2020, all could benefit from Richard’s experience coaching excellent secondaries in the past.          

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